Note: It should be immediately noted that this was originally a 10-day fasting log. I completely failed at the full ten days.
If you know me, you know that I’m a big fan of living an examined life. I think “putting yourself out there” encourages follow-through and accountability.
I started a ten-day fast earlier this evening, and I will be updating my progress toward this goal right here, in this post. So, check back right here every once in a while over the next ten days to see how things are coming along.
Why am I doing this? A few reasons. Firstly, in ten days we’re leaving for our family cruise to the Bahamas. I think I’m in decent shape already after losing 32 lbs. by diligently performing N.E.A.T. activities over the past year. However, I want to take it to the next level in an uncomplicated and challenging way. Secondly, I’ve never fasted longer than four days (and that was ten years ago), and I want to see if I’m capable of doing it. And our little baby (pictured above) has been doing great at her recent checkups, so I want her daddy to be just as healthy as she is.
I’ll update this little chart to show body weight and body fat percentage by day of the fast. As far as goals, I just want to see improvement in both metrics below, with a lower weight and lower body fat percentage.
Other than cutting out food altogether, the only deliberate action I’ll be taking is to do 50-100 burpees each day to help maintain muscle mass. Wish me luck!
Day 0 – 183.8 lbs / 17.7% Body Fat
7:00 PM, May 18th
Notes: I feel great! Let’s get started!
Day 1 – 182.6 lbs / 17.5% Body Fat
7:00 PM, May 19th
Notes: I knew the evening would be the hardest part. That’s usually when I’ll start getting hunger headaches, and today is no different. I’ve been drowning myself in water, I’m up to maybe a gallon so far today. I feel pretty good if it were not for the slight headache. I’m not even that hungry yet. I’m just shooting to get to 11 PM and I’ll fall asleep. I certainly hope Day 1 isn’t the easiest.
In normal, day-to-day life, the body functions using calories taken in through daily eating. When no food is eaten for four to eight hours, then the next source of food is glycogen from the liver. That will suffice the body for about 12 hours. I’ve passed this point by now. Right now, I’m burning glycogen from my muscles. I won’t reach full ketosis for at least two more days. Full ketosis is the promised land, as that is the stage where my body will start burning adipose tissue (fat cells) for energy.
See you tomorrow!
Day 2 – 179.2 lbs / 17.2% Body Fat
7:00 PM, May 20th
Day 2 was easier than Day 1–by a long shot. At this stage, my body is starting to understand that no food is coming, so the hunger pangs have slowed down. As I write this update, at about 11 pm, I’m having a bit of a moment of weakness. I’d love to eat something, but I’d be ashamed of failing so early into the process…thank goodness I can drink water. I was tested earlier today with free Panera sandwiches and cookies at the office. I’d normally be all over some free and delicious food, so that was tough.
I’m surprised with with the weight loss and fat loss so far. I’m very curious how these numbers hold up over the next eight days. There’s just no way this pace holds.
I came to the realization today that I’d be fasting over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. That was a tough pill to swallow, as Memorial Day is a classic time to fire up the barbecue; I’m going to miss that.
Day 3 – 178.4 lbs. / 16.9% Body Fat
7:00 PM, May 21st
This is getting tough. I’m not sure I have the mental toughness to not eat anything, at all, for another seven days. I’m impressed at the weight and fat loss so far, and am wondering when I’ll plateau. It is reassuring and motivating to see progress, but I guess I’m just a little weaker-minded that I thought.
The craziest thing is, the hunger I’m experiencing seems to be all mental triggers and signals. My stomach isn’t growling, I don’t “feel” hungry. I feel about as hungry now as I feel if I skip lunch at work. But, my brain and thoughts are telling me that it is so much stronger now. We’ll see how long I can continue.
Day 4 – 175.0 lbs. / 16.5% Body Fat
7:00 PM, May 22nd
So, this was unexpected. Not long into my fourth day, I caved. I was sittin’ here, just miserable, and I was like, “I’m so unhappy.” So, I caved and ate a banana and a little can of sardines.
Apparently, that sort of opened the floodgates, because shortly thereafter I had to utilize the facilities. I’m now down to 175 lbs. even, and dropped another half-percent in body fat. I’m intending on resuming the fast, and I’m full of vigor, again.
I haven’t weighed 175 lbs. in probably five years, and I didn’t really realize that until I just wrote this sentence. It’s been a looong time since I was down to 175. I’m very curious how effective this is going to be over a full ten days. I’m already down past the point I figured to achieve over the entire fast. I’m not brave enough to make any predictions. I’m grateful for how well it’s gone, and anything additional is just gravy.
Day 8 – 176.8 lbs. / 16.7% Body Fat
Let’s just skip right ahead. I could have easily just deleted this post from Retire29, and nobody would be the wiser. However, I haven’t had a good public shaming in quite a while, so I thought it was better (and much more transparent and honest) to just finish this off.
Over the 8-day “fast” I ended up losing 7 lbs. and 1% of body fat–which would work out to 3 lbs. of fat loss and 4 lbs. lost of everything else (water, muscle, probably some much needed bone density)…
I’m now about a week removed from the end of the fast and I can firmly say that some of the results have held. Keep in mind that in the past week, I’ve completely glutton’d out on a cruise ship for four days. But, despite that, I still maintained a loss of over 2 lbs. and a half-percent of body fat. So, not all bad.
In the future, I probably won’t be fasting again. The complete cut-off from food made life miserable. If I could have simply had 100-200 calories per day, I believe I could have gone the whole nine yards. It’s amazing how easy it is to satiate the body. I now bow down to anyone who can do this to fruition.
Another upside to this experiment was our grocery costs for the month–only $360, which is our lowest month ever since I started tracking. Kudos to the wife for putting up with my little shenanigans. May we never speak of a fast again.
Here’s to better successes in the future,